General Insurance Article - 2011 Freshers should focus on finances, friends and health

Endsleigh ‘Wise Owl' student survey passes on wisdom to new intake

 Existing students have advised 2011's Freshers to prioritise making friends at university, along with managing their finances and their health. That message came from Endsleigh's 'Wise Owl' survey of over 2,500 students, conducted through the National Union of Students (NUS). In the study, Endsleigh asked a range of current students across the UK which aspects of university life, away from their studies, they felt were the most important, in order to help those starting out in higher education for the first time this Autumn.

 As well as flagging budgeting, making new friends and looking after your health as the three key areas of university life, students highlighted: finding your way around campus; getting to know a new town or city and dealing with homesickness, as major challenges when starting university life.

 Endsleigh also explored which aspects of university life students had felt most positive about before starting their course. In terms of domestic tasks, 84% of students said they had been confident in their cooking, washing and ironing skills while even more (93%) had felt keeping their university accommodation clean would not be a problem.

 When it came to student finances, 74% of respondents had been happy with the prospect of budgeting, although one in three (33%) were less sure about how they would cope with paying bills and a quarter (24%) said they had been uncertain about applying for a bank account.

 On making and maintaining relationships, 32% of students said they had been unsure about meeting new friends, while 23% had concerns about homesickness and about getting on with housemates (also 23%).

 Finally, students were asked where they went to for advice before starting university. The most popular and important influences were schoolteachers (55%) and parents (50%).

 The reality of university life clearly presents different challenges to Freshers but their advice from older students is overwhelmingly positive. When Endsleigh asked current students to give one helpful word or phrase they would pass on to this year's Freshers: ‘Relax', ‘Enjoy' and ‘Be yourself' came back as the most popular.

 Vicki O'Connell, Communications Manager at Endsleigh Insurance, said:

 "As well as their course, we've found that students have lots to consider when starting university for the first time. While they might be happy with the idea of cooking and cleaning for themselves, they feel less confident when it comes to different challenges like making new friends or having to manage money properly. Student life clearly brings with it many new priorities for young people - and it's gratifying to see that schoolteachers and parents in particular play a huge part in preparing them for the experience."

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